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Priming

Also known as a consequence of agenda setting, priming refers to the process by which the importance of political issues in media content and public opinion influences evaluations of political leaders. Whereas agenda-setting theory posits that mass media increase the salience of political issues in public opinion, priming suggests that the issues made prominent via agenda setting are used as the major criteria by which individuals judge political leaders, particularly the president. Thus, if news media tend to cover the economy more than any other issue, public evaluations of politicians will be predominantly based on their perceived performance of how those leaders are handling that issue. Thus, the emphasis of news media on certain issues at the expense of others can substantially alter assessments of ...

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